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FCC May Permit Robocalls To Cell Phones -- If They Are Calling a Wrong Number

Spy Handler Start robocalling FCC bureaucrats (217 comments)

on their cell. See if they still wanna go through with this.

about two weeks ago
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How Close Are We To Engineering the Climate?

Spy Handler Ship wake bubbles is a good method (319 comments)

See: http://www.bbc.com/news/scienc...

This method is great because ships are already making bubbles in their wake. We just make it whiter with smaller bubbles. Basically raising the ocean albedo.

In the "What can possibly go wrong?" department, this method is far better than any of the other geoengineering proposals. And it's cheap.

Simply retrofitting existing large ships to produce smaller bubbles could reduce global temperature by 0.5C. If we want more cooling, we could float dedicated solar-powered bot ships that do nothing but cruise the equitorial seas making wake.

about three weeks ago
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EFF: Apple's Dev Agreement Means No EFF Mobile App For iOS

Spy Handler Re:Calling bullshit (220 comments)

Do you actually make a living selling those 99 cent apps on App Store? As in, you don't have another day job?

That's pretty hard. Very rare.

Saying the app store and its execution weren't a great revolution shows that you are totally ignorant of how software was made and sold only a few years ago. Small developers for software really didn't exist. Nobody pays for shareware, and making a living as a small dev was basically impossible. The app store basically recreated the hobby developer market, period, and brought it to a level of mainstream that was never attained by normal PCs.

That's not true at all. Small devs sold on their own website (and they still do). I bought all kinds of Windows software from small devs. A few examples of stuff I bought (there are many others but not all of them are still around):

flashpanoramas.com
sourceguardian.com
supertintin.com
easypano.com/virtual-tour-software.html

They have trial versions they distribute on download sites like CNET download.com. If you like it you buy the full version. This model works. Yes there's piracy but if your program (let's not call it an app) is good and useful you'll get many paid buyers.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: High-Performance Laptop That Doesn't Overheat?

Spy Handler Re:Seems obvious but... (325 comments)

He probably does want a desktop but his boss heard that desktops are old and dying (Netcraft confirmed it), and mobile is the new revolution. Laptops are kinda mobile, right?

about three weeks ago
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SpaceX One Step Closer To Launching Astronaut

Spy Handler 7 seats on the Dragon (70 comments)

but they only send up 3 people at a time to ISS. Seems like a waste. They should set up a lottery for an extra person or two, seems reasonable. I'll buy some tickets.

about three weeks ago
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Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ

Spy Handler Vive la France! (1350 comments)

My hat's off to the murder victims. They had the guts and the courage of conviction to take on Islam. Let us honor these brave Frenchmen and their country.

My fellow Americans like to joke about French surrender and Googling French military victories ('no results found"). But that seems absurd to me because it's the French doing all the brave things while Americans cower in fear.

I do not see CNN or Fox News or Huffington Post or any other American paper taking on Islam. Politically correct cowardice is rampant in America, home of the chickens. American activists bravely take on Silicon Valley tech firms and Xbox gamers for misogyny while completely ignoring the Islamic treatment of women. That's like attacking a kid for playing with water balloons while ignoring the mafia guy next to him planting C4 car bombs. But I guess even cowards have to make themselves feel good by doing something... as long as there's no danger to themselves. Safety is important!

about three weeks ago
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Bill Gates Endorses Water From Human Waste

Spy Handler Re:Bear Grylls (245 comments)

The sun is going down.

Better make Bill Gates drink my piss

about three weeks ago
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Toyota Opens Patents On Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology

Spy Handler Toyota is just pulling an HP and giving up (124 comments)

when HP realized their webOS was going nowhere, they open sourced it to save a little face and gain a little goodwill, and then abandoned it.

It probably occurred to Toyota recently that hydrogen is not a good idea because:

1. hydrogen molecules are tiny and thus tend to leak out of everything

2. storing hydrogen is costly because of its low density (lowest in the universe) and the insanely cold temperatures required to liquify it

3. the chicken-and-egg problem of getting gas stations to carry it

According to the DC-X team (via Jerry Pournelle's blog) hydrogen is a very frustrating fuel to work with for reasons 1 and 2. Initially they were attracted to it for performance reasons (cryogenic fuel is the most powerful chemical rocket fuel in the universe) but after working with it for awhile came to the conclusion that kerosene/LOX was a far better choice from the standpoint of operational efficiency and cost. Lesson which SpaceX is using now to great effect.

about three weeks ago
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In Daring Plan, Tomorrow SpaceX To Land a Rocket On Floating Platform

Spy Handler Re:Re usability (151 comments)

depends. But in the case of SpaceX merlins, a lot. They were designed with reusability in mind and also they don't throttle it up to max capacity for longevity. What exactly is a lot? Nobody knows, not even SpaceX. They'll know after they try it a few times. But a dozen reuse doesn't seem unreasonable at this stage.

Today most P-51 and Corsair owners don't use WEP (war emergency power) on their precious warbirds to save engine wear... same principle.

about three weeks ago
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In Daring Plan, Tomorrow SpaceX To Land a Rocket On Floating Platform

Spy Handler Re:Deja Vu (151 comments)

delayed. Rocket launches get delayed often. If you're new to this, get used to it.

Stratolaunch does kind of makes sense from the delay perspective, if we're gonna aim at something like daily orbital launches in the future (although of course in this case, the delay wasn't weather-related). Jets are much more tolerant of bad weather than rockets, so being able to fly above the weather or move away from it is pretty appealing.

about three weeks ago
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Writer: How My Mom Got Hacked

Spy Handler Re: (463 comments)

Clueless stupid person gets hit by virus. News at 11.

Now if you, as a knowledgeable person, want to help your clueless friends/relatives avoid this fate, install adware / adblockpro / flashblock on their computers. Nuke the ad system.

about three weeks ago
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Writer: How My Mom Got Hacked

Spy Handler Re:Hey Fucktard (463 comments)

This was an article on NY Times. Capitalism = Bad. Socialism = Good. Got it?

about three weeks ago
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Professor: Young People Are "Lost Generation" Who Can No Longer Fix Gadgets

Spy Handler Re:speak for yourself. (840 comments)

Understandable given that 99% of engineering profs *are* men. Not interesting at all.

Now if he had that bias when talking about McDonald's fry cooks, that would be interesting. Because that sector is well diversified with a near 50-50 male/female distribution.

about three weeks ago
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The Billionaires' Space Club

Spy Handler What the hell is this guy smoking (235 comments)

not gonna bother clicking any of the links. This guy is either incredibly ignorant and been living under a rock for the past few years, or his 401k is heavily vested in defense contractors. SpaceX is shaking the space launch industry to the very foundations and turning everything upside down. SpaceX is already cheaper than them (by a lot), but if the R program succeeds (we'll know in a few days), basically Elon will wipe out ULA and Ariannespace and there will be nothing left of them except for a few crumbs thrown at them by their buddies in government.

about a month ago
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The Coming Decline of 'Made In China'

Spy Handler Re:What Will They Do... (327 comments)

What country are you talking about? South Africa?

about a month ago
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Science Cannot Prove the Existence of God

Spy Handler Re:This tired old saw again. (755 comments)

Not saying I agree with the WSJ editorial (which I haven't even bothered to read). However, there is one way for science to prove God exists. Holograms.

Scientists (real ones with physics degrees from prestigious universities, not the Christian science kind) are pretty close to proving that the universe is a simulation. Well if it's a simulation, who's doing the simulating, and who's watching it? Must be some entity that existed prior to the beginning of this universe and is outside it. Might as well call it God.

If this pans out, then the Copenhagen interpretation in quantum physics wins out over the many-worlds theory. Matter in this universe does not exist -- it remains a probability wave -- until it has been observed. Kind of like how in FPS games, pixels outside your monitor aren't rendered (to save GPU cycles) until you observe it.

about a month ago
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Slashdot Asks: The Beanies Return; Who Deserves Recognition for 2014?

Spy Handler lol what? Anita who? (299 comments)

Anita Sarkeesian, for helping draw attention to undue harassment faced by women in the video game world?

Career feminist looking for social injustice and finding it in _______? How does that deserve special recognition? It's what they do. It would be shocking if she looked somewhere and *didn't* find any injustice... that might actually deserve some kind of an honesty award.

Yes she did receive rape and death threats and I do not think she deserved it, but guess what, they were just threats. There was no way in hell she was going to actually be raped or killed by these juvenile gamers (juvenile either literally or the 30 year old virgins who never moved out of their parents basement and are juvenile in all but age)

But if instead of taking on relatively harmless gaming nerdz, had she had taken on, oh let's say Islam -- in the name of whose religion millions of women are sexually maimed and sometimes outright killed each year -- I would say she deserved a big award. Because getting your vagina mutilated and your head bashed in with stones is so much worse than being objectified as a sex object in some video game. And because whereas gaming nerdz post rape and death threats on Twitter but have never actually carried one out to date (because they're virgins and wouldn't actually know how to rape a woman), Islam does actually rape and kill and behead women. Frequently.

about a month ago
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The One Mistake Google Keeps Making

Spy Handler Re:They said that about cell phones (386 comments)

They did say that about cell phones, and they were right. Very few units were sold and they pretty much sucked for decades after being invented in the 1970's. Cell phones didn't become a mass-market success until the late 90's.

Google's problem isn't making great products that no one buys. If they were great then people will buy them. Their problem is making new stuff that has the potential to become great, but currently aren't because Google keeps underestimating the amount of development time needed.

Kudos to them for the pioneering effort, but please get a better grip on reality and please reign in your PR department. True driverless automated cars won't be ready this decade, if ever. Sergei and Larry will most likely be on Social Security when driverless cars dominate the road. As for Glass, it's pretty close to prime time except for one massive flaw which is battery life. New battery tech with 10x current battery life will be required, and who knows when that will be. Maybe this decade, maybe the next one.

about a month ago
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Being Colder May Be Good For Your Health

Spy Handler Yes brown fat will help you (234 comments)

if you're an obese American gulping down double cheeseburgers and driving a car to everywhere. However, the "obese American" phase of human evolution has only been going on for about 60 years or so.

What about the previous 2,000,000 years, how did these brown fats help the primitive man whose main problem was finding enough calories to eat?

about a month ago
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AirAsia Flight Goes Missing Between Indonesia and Singapore

Spy Handler Re: who cares how many children (275 comments)

Now, when they say WOMEN, that's where there's an obvious sexist bias. Women's lives AREN'T worth more than men's.

History and evolution would say you're wrong.

After a disaster where a large percentage of your tribe/village are wiped out, who is more valuable among the survivors? Women capable of childbearing would be the most valuable, because you need to replace the dead people with new babies.

You can still see this in action today in endangered species management. Ask the wildlife experts which is more valuable, the male or female Siberian white tiger. Kill the male and you're killing one white tiger. Kill the female and you might be killing 5 or 6 (not only the cubs that won't be born in the future, but also existing cubs that depend on the mother for survival might die)

about 1 month ago

Submissions

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Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about a month ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "According to an article in Businessweek, the often-repeated mantra (by tech companies) that there is a tech worker shortage doesn't actually exist. The paper compared the case of petroleum engineers to that of tech workers, and found that there was an actual shortage of petroleum engineers, with the predictable result of wages for petroleum engineers rising, leading to more people becoming petroleum engineers until the demand was met and shortage solved. In contrast, the real wages for IT workers have stayed flat since 1999.

"There's no evidence of any way, shape, or form that there's a shortage in the conventional sense," says Hal Salzman, a professor of planning and public policy at Rutgers University. "They may not be able to find them at the price they want. But I'm not sure that qualifies as a shortage, any more than my not being able to find a half-priced TV."
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Google's Lease of NASA Airfield Criticized by Consumer Group

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about 3 months ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "Yesterday's announcement that Google will lease Moffett Field from NASA for 60 years drew criticism from a group called Consumer Watchdog, which stated "This is like giving the keys to your car to the guy who has been siphoning gas from your tank. It is unfairly rewarding unethical and wrongful behavior."

Which makes one wonder: what's the market rate for a lease on 1000 acres of Silicon Valley real estate? And also, would the public reaction to this deal have been as muted if it had been, say, Monsanto getting caught underpaying the gov't for diesel fuel, only to be rewarded later with a large sweetheart deal for federal land?"
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Steve Ballmer To Ban L.A. Clippers From Using Apple Products

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about 4 months ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft who recently purchased the basketball team Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion, will ban the use of Apple products by his team. Ballmer is no longer working for Microsoft but is still the largest individual shareholder, with about 4 percent of the company worth $15.7 billion."
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How Russia Should Respond to U.S. Olympic Snub with Snowden

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about a year ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "In a move that can only be interpreted as a snub against Russia's recent anti-gay laws, U.S. will be sending openly gay athletes as part of its delegation to the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, without President Obama or any other high ranking government official in attendance. Score one point for USA, most of us can agree that such anti-gay laws are unjust with no place in a modern civilized society. However, Russia can score its own point in rebuttal and highlight the log in America's own eye — NSA's global internet surveillance — by inviting Edward Snowden to the opening ceremony. Bonus point for having him light the Olympic torch."
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Verizon Programmer Caught Outsourcing Own Job To China

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about 2 years ago

Spy Handler writes "In 2012 when Verizon discovered that its corporate systems were being accessed by someone in China, it launched an investigation. Initially thought to be a case of industrial espionage or a malicious hacker, it turns out that one of their own employees had contracted his programming job out to a team in China. The programmer, man in his mid 40's identified only as "Bob", would show up for work, watch cat videos and surf Reddit (among other things), while the contractors in China did the work he was supposedly doing. He paid them one-fifth of the 6-figure salary he was getting from Verizon.

And over the past several years, Bob received excellent performance reviews of his "clean, well written" coding. He had even been noted as "the best developer in the building." However, Bob has been fired after his scheme was discovered."

Link to Original Source
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NASA To Test Bigelow Inflatable Module Aboard ISS

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about 2 years ago

Spy Handler writes "NASA has announced that it has awarded a $17.8 million contract to Bigelow Aerospace to build an inflatable module for the International Space Station. Details of the project will be announced Wednesday at Bigelow’s headquarters in Las Vegas.

Seems like all the pieces for a privately-built space renaissance are starting to fall into place. When the Falcon Heavy goes operational to provide cheap launches, we could finally have the spaceflight boom that space enthusiasts have been dreaming of."

Link to Original Source
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HP Software Update Cancels Food Stamps

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about 2 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "A software update of the California welfare computer system (CalWIN) caused 37,000 Food Stamp recipients to lose their EBT (a credit card paid for by the government) benefits last weekend. According to the article, Hewlett Packard was responsible for the failed update of CalWIN, but at 8:00 a.m. today Xerox (who administers another state welfare system called CalFresh) issued a patch that reactivated the EBT cards."
Link to Original Source
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Facebook Test Will Let You Message Strangers for $1

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Spy Handler writes "Facebook is testing a feature that will let select users pay $1 to send messages to people with whom they have no connection on the social network.

The $1 fee will open a thread with a non-Facebook friend. If that person replies to your note, you won't have to pay again to respond to them."

Link to Original Source
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Google Threatened Acer with Banishment from Android

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Spy Handler writes "In a Microsoft-esque move, Google threatened Acer with banishment from Android if it went ahead with its new cellphone project with Alibaba (China's version of Amazon), using an OS called Aliyun. Acer has remained silent on the issue, but Alibaba reports that they received notification from Google, stating "if the new product launch with Aliyun went ahead, Google would terminate Android product cooperation and related technical authorization with Acer." Possible reason for Google's upset is that the Aliyun OS, which is not Android, can run Android apps as well as its own."
Link to Original Source
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SpaceX Dragon Launch To ISS Set For April 30th

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "NASA announced today a tentative April 30th date for SpaceX launch to the International Space Station on an unmanned cargo mission.

"Everything looks good as we head toward the April 30 launch date," said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations.

If successful, SpaceX will become the first private company to launch a space vehicle and dock with the ISS."

Link to Original Source
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Apple and Samsung Rake In 95% of Mobile Phone Profits

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "The race for mobile domination appears to be a two-horse race. According to a new CNET report, Apple took in a whopping 80 percent of all profits in the mobile phone business last quarter — that's counting all cell phones, not just smartphones. Samsung came in second, reaping 15 percent of the profits. Everyone else was left scrambling for crumbs.

Perhaps the release of Windows 8 phones can turn the tide and prevent a Apple-Samsung duopoly from taking place."

Link to Original Source
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Free Hotel Wi-Fi Overwhelmed by iPads

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "According to iBAHN, a firm that provides Wi-Fi and computer services to hotels, free Wi-Fi networks are struggling to cope with the huge increase in traffic since the iPad was released.

"The iPad is the fastest-selling device in consumer electronics history, and because of it the demand placed on any public place Wi-Fi system has gone up exponentially in the last year and a half," said David W. Garrison, chief executive of iBAHN.

Hotels are now facing a tough choice; keep Wi-Fi free and risk angering customers with slow internet, upgrade their internet pipe and charge customers for Wi-Fi (which also might anger customers), or upgrade their internet and eat the costs."

Link to Original Source
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Tearing Down iPhone 4S reveals 512MB RAM

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Spy Handler writes "ComputerWorld is reporting that tearing down the just-released iPhone 4S reveals an A5 processor and 512MB of RAM.

"How do we know it's 512MB? Check out the marking, specifically 'E4E4,' denoting two 2Gb LPDDR2 die — for a total of 4Gb — or 512MB."

What's baffling to me — since I have yet to drink the Kool-aid and am unfamiliar with Apple hardware — is why did it take disassembling the phone and examining chip markings to deduce the amount of RAM in the system? In Linux and Windows, you type in one command and it tells you. Or simply looking at the box usually shows the processor, RAM and HDD size"

Link to Original Source
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Would You Vote For a Programmer President?

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "Herman Cain, one of the current front-runners in the race for the Presidency of the U.S., has a master's degree in Computer Science (and a bachelor's degree in Mathmatics). As a Slashdotter, would this fact affect your vote favorably toward him?

Contrast this with your typical politician, most of whom have a law degree and majored in something in liberal arts as an undergraduate. (Mr. Obama was a Political Science major and has a law degree)"
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NASA's Space Launch System: a Critical Analysis

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "Jerry Pournelle has posted a quick analysis of NASA's new Space Launch System (SLS) on his website. His two main criticisms involve:

1. Usage of the Shuttle main engines. "Those were developed to be reusable, and they are expensive because of that. They are in fact magnificent engines and thoroughly reusable if operated at 90-95% of rated capacity; it’s not their fault that they had to be run at 103% and above to fly Shuttle. But they were developed to be reusable, and that adds greatly to their cost."

2. Usage of SRBs. "You don’t want recoverable solid rockets in the first place. The operations are a nightmare, and the design has to be compromised so that the impact on the water does not destroy the thing, and it has to float. All that changes the design and affects performance. There is no good reason ever to recover a solid booster, which is, after all, a big sewer pipe stuffed with guncotton and leached with nitroglycerine....

The only reason we ever came up with any notion as mad as a segmented solid booster was that the SRB had to be made in Utah because of political constraints. If you make a booster that size in Utah it has to be segmented because you can’t ship it by rail or on the highway – the curves are too sharp and the tunnels are not big enough. You would have to make it in Michoud Louisiana and ship it by barge to Canaveral. That is possible but Louisiana isn’t Utah. Apparently the new NASA design is worried about the Utah Senatorial votes to this day."


His widely read 2000 paper titled How To Get To Space provides excellent insights into the X-programs and is well worth reading."

Link to Original Source
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Japan Does Not Face Another Chernobyl

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Spy Handler writes "In spite of the sensationalist stories on the Japan earthquake by U.S. media , which is giving the public an impression of a nuclear holocaust at the power plants and generally spreading anti-nuclear F.U.D., the reality is actually quite different... and not so dire. According to this article — which contains actual info about the reactors involved and how they function — everything worked exactly as the designers intended in a natural disaster scenario such as this, there will be no Chernobyl, and the public is not in danger of developing green skin and turning into the Hulk."
Link to Original Source
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Pickens Plan comes to a wimpering end

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "In 2008, billionaire T. Boone Pickens unveiled his "Pickens Plan" on national TV, which calls for America to end its dependence on foreign oil by increasing use of wind power and natural gas. Over the next two years, he spent $80 million on TV commercials and $2 billion on General Electric wind turbines. Unfortunately market forces were not favorable to Mr. Pickens, and in December 2010 he announced that he is getting out of the wind power business.

What does he plan to do with his $2 billion worth of idle wind turbines? He is trying to sell them to Canada, because of Canadian law that mandates consumers to buy more renewable electricity regardles of cost."

Link to Original Source
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Americans' Support for Nuclear Power Highest Ever

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "According to a new Gallup poll, 64% of Americans favored nuclear power as a means for generating electricity.

Though a majority of Americans has long supported nuclear power, Gallup said the latest rating is the highest since it began polling on the issue in 1994.

71% of Republicans supported nuclear, while 51% of Democrats did so."

Link to Original Source
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Software Engineer Flies Plane into IRS Building

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "A software engineer flew his small airplane into an office building in Austin, Texas today. Fortunately none of the 199 IRS employees who work there were killed, even though the crash caused a massive fire that gutted the building.

The pilot, Joseph Stack, was the founder of a small software company that apparently had tax problems with the government, and he posted a disgruntled suicide note on his company webite. (archived version here.)"

Link to Original Source
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Los Angeles City Website Crashed by MJ Memorial

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Spy Handler writes "The City of Los Angeles spent $1.4 million to provide security for Michael Jackson's memorial service on Tuesday, mostly in overtime pay for approximately 3000 police officers. Since the city was already in the midst of a severe budget crisis, it actively sought out donations from MJ fans, by asking them to go to the city's website and sending them money. (there is a prominent link at the top of the home page that says "JACKSON EVENT DONATIONS")

Unfortunately the website simply could not handle the surge in traffic and crashed repeatedly on Tuesday and Wednesday, one of them lasting for 12 hours. As of Wednesday the city has only received $17,000 in donations.

A quick check of the city's website reveals that it is running Sun Java Web Server 6.1"

Link to Original Source

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